Dear Hillside Family,
We’ve had a great summer and the countdown is on for the launch of our fall season. Exciting plans are in place for our exciting kickoff on Homecoming Sunday, Sept 11th. Hope you can join us! And if you haven’t registered yet for the picnic (free barbecue) at Magic Mountain, simply use this link to register now. In addition to meeting friends old and new plus enjoying the barbecue and a complimentary round of mini golf, we have a few new surprises for kids this year. So, again, don’t miss out!
With the momentum of last week’s VBS Sunday where 722 people experienced an inspiring Sunday (no summer slump!), we’re definitely poised for a fantastic fall. By the way, last Sunday was the first time we broke 700 on a summer Sunday. Exciting! And it was up substantially from last year’s VBS Sunday with 620. This is yet another reminder of how we made room for more and God is blessing.
In addition to the picnic, this Homecoming Sunday will mark the beginning of the much-anticipated Believe series. Similar to past church-wide spiritual growth initiatives like “The Story”, “Transformed” or “40 Days in the Word”, “Believe” is an opportunity to uniquely engage the whole family (kids, youth, young adults, singles, couples, and seniors).
To learn more about it (and if you missed last Sunday), you can check out my message last Sunday “The Heart of Hillside”.
Also, you don’t want to miss Pastor Dave’s message this Sunday, “5 Habits of Growing Disciples”. Together, these two messages are designed to make sure that we’re all on the same page so that we, as a church, can make the most of the fall season ahead. The Bible says that life is made up of “times and seasons” (Eccl. 3). It’s our prayer that everyone will be “All In” during this fall season as we seek to go deeper in our growing relationship with Jesus.
Speaking of seasons, this fall will also mark a new season with an important change in our staff team. Our longest serving staff member, Judy McGuire, with 24 years of service turned 70 this past summer. Imagine that. I know, that’s hard to imagine because she looks so young. Turning 70 is certainly a significant milestone and our staff team had the joy of celebrating this special moment with Judy a few weeks ago. Throughout these many years Judy has been an incredibly “All In”, faithfully dedicated and greatly appreciated Executive Ministry Assistant and a very trusted assistant to me for the past 23 years. Well, knowing this day was coming, we have been prayerfully working on and solidified a transition plan whereby Judy will be moving into a reduced role sharing part-time hours (20 hours/each) with Carolyn Preston as Receptionist/Admin Support this fall. Thus, Judy will begin to enjoy a lighter workload (and a taste of retirement) while also still contributing to our ministry.
With this change I’m also very pleased to let you know that we have recently hired Penny Mollins as our new Executive Ministry Assistant. She, too, like Judy is an “All In”, faithfully dedicated Hillsider with a strong sense of calling and passion for our ministry. Many of you saw this dedication again as recently as last week with Vacation Bible School where she served on the VBS lead team. (And/or you heard about it when she gave a wonderful volunteer testimony this past Sunday). With the blessing of our Board of Elders as well as the enthusiasm of our staff team (including Judy and Carolyn), we are looking forward to this new day and welcoming Penny to the team. We believe that Penny has the administrative abilities, caring personality, and strong Christian character to fulfill this role with excellence. After 15 years on staff at Medavie Blue Cross, Penny will begin her new role with us next Tues, Sept. 6th. She is excited about this new opportunity and has the keen support of her home team, including husband Scott, Noah (11), and Olivia (9). The plan is that she and Judy will work together for a couple of weeks in September to help with a smooth transition.
Friends, we are truly blessed to have these talented and very special ladies on our staff team. I know you will want to reach out and encourage them as they begin this new season with us in the days ahead.
In closing, know that it continues to be a great joy to serve with you. And I can’t wait to experience all that God has in store for us as we begin the fall season in this our Grand Opening year. Best days ahead!
PS Many have already signed up and are planning to participate in a Believe small group. What about you? There are many options available to meet a variety of schedules and days of the week. Need more info? Sign up on this link and we’ll help you find a group that works for you.
Also, Pastor Dave will offer another Believe Group Info Session this Sunday night, Sept. 4th, @ 6:00pm in the cafe. A one hour guarantee! There’s still a need for more people to open up their homes to host and/or facilitate a group. Interested? You can sign up now.